Discipline Equals Freedom

It seems quite counter intuitive. But I picked up the book with this title by Jocko Willink because, as time has passed and I have struggled, I realized this was true. Discipline does not tie us down; discipline creates freedom and more – relief, happiness, achievement.

I got about half way through the book, then lost it, and have not been able to find it at the library since. Ironically, the discipline of staying organized would have earned me the privilege of not losing the book and to finish reading it. Anyways, not all of it is lost. Here are the excerpts of the book I put together from my notes. i was at least disciplined about that and I am happy because, rereading it now, I did like these points as reminders to keep pushing myself up.

Impose what you want in your brain:
DISCIPLINE.
POWER.
POSITIVITY.
WILL.
And use that Mind Control to move your life where you want it to be: stronger, faster, smarter, quicker, friendlier, more helpful, more driven. Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind. And then you can: SET IT FREE.

I don’t accept that I am what I am and that “that” is what I am doomed to be.

Some days I win. But some days I don’t. But each and every day: I get back up and I move forward. With my fists clenched.
Toward the battle. Toward the struggle.
And I fight with everything I’ve got: To overcome those weaknesses and those shortfalls and those flaws as I strive to be just a little bit better today than I was yesterday…

Fight weak emotions with the power of logic; fight the weakness of logic with the power of emotion.

The worst thing about incoming artillery fire is you can’t control it. It is happening and you just have to accept it. Don’t stress about things you can’t control.

Discipline can seem like your worst enemy. But in reality it is your best friend. It will take care of you like nothing else can. And it will put you on the path to strength and health and intelligence and happiness. And most important, discipline will put you on the path to FREEDOM.

…to me, it is not about nature or nurture, it is about choice. The people who are successful decide they are going to be successful. They make that choice.
And they make other choices. They decide to study hard. They decide to be the first person to get to work and the last to go home. They decide they are going to take on the hard jobs. Take on the challenges. They decide they are going to lead when no one else will.
They choose who they are going to hang around and they who they will emulate.
They choose to become who they want to become – they aren’t inhibited by nature or nurture. They overcome both.
And I will tell you something else: it is never too late to make that choice.
You are never too old to decide where you are going to focus your efforts and push to make the most out of every situation.
So. Think not about what you’ve been through and where you were. Think about where you are going and choose.
Choose to make yourself smarter and stronger and healthier.
Choose to work out and study and eat good food and keep your mind clean.
Don’t let nature or nurture make you.
Choose to MAKE. YOUR. SELF.

Fear of failure.
Fear of failure can keep you from taking the risk. It can leave you sitting there, paralyzed into not taking action. And that is obviously bad. But: I don’t want you to overcome fear of failure.
I want you to be afraid of failure.
FEAR OF FAILURE IS GOOD.
Fear of failure will keep you up at night, planning, rehearsing, going over contingencies.
Fear of failure will keep you training hard.
Fear of failure will stop you from cutting corners.
Fear of failure will keep you working, thinking, striving, and relentlessly trying to be more prepared for battle. So I want you to be afraid of failing. I fear failure.
But more important – I want you to be horrified – terrified – of sitting on the sidelines doing nothing.

Get aggressive. Stand your ground in the battle and fight by saying NO.
HOLD THE LINE.
Hold the line for your health, your mental toughness, and to exercise your WILL – which, I promise, is stronger than the will of a donut – if you want it to be.

Don’t really want to get up and get out of bed?
I GET UP AND GET OUT OF BED.
Now – these could be signals that you need some time off – and those signals might be right. BUT – don’t take today off. Wait until tomorrow. Don’t give in to the immediate gratification that is whispering in your ear.
SHUT THAT DOWN. DO NOT LISTEN.
Instead: Go through the motions. Lift the weights. Sprint the hill. Work on the project. GET OUT OF BED.
I don’t like procrastination. But if you feel like you need a break – that is one thing you should procrastinate.
Taking a break is one thing I put off till tomorrow.

And the most important thing to understand about regret is that in and of itself, regret is worthless. It does nothing for you.
In fact: The only thing valuable in regret is the lesson you learned. The knowledge you gained. But walking around filled with regret gets you nothing.
So, learn and move on. Don’t let regret beat you down. Don’t be a slave to regret. NO.
Let it teach you. Let it make you better. Let the fear of regret fuel you – to take action – today – now.
Take action now to become a person not filled with regret, but a person filled with knowledge and strength and power and life.

FOCUS
In combat, focus comes pretty easily because the battle is right in front of your face. You have no choice but to focus. But, sometimes, in day-to-day life, you can lose track of the long-term goal. It fades from your vision. It slips from your mind. WRONG. I want that long-term goal to be so embedded in my mind, that I never lose sight of it. EVER.

My first step towards discipline: 25 Minutes

Click here to learn more about The Momentum Project.

14 thoughts on “Discipline Equals Freedom

  1. Valuable lessons in here! I live by many of these same rules myself even if I need to remind myself at times to keep following them.

    In the last 6 or 7 months my discipline (physically) really slacked off because of an injury. Working hard to get back there now.

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    1. Injury or sickness does disrupt the discipline. I have been sick for the last week and my unproductivity really started to bother me, though recovery is important in itself. But once the strength comes back and you had your habits set, they will come back to you. I am trying to strategize more how to get those habits of discipline ingrained in my mind and life permanently, like riding a bike. Any advice from how you stick to your rules?

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      1. If you would have asked me 7 months ago I’d have a lot to say but right now I’m just getting back into it. I think the most important thing is you need to want it. Whatever it is. In my case it’s to lose weight. You need to look in that mirror and be so offended by what you see that the change it takes to get to where you want to go is less painful then looking at that fucking thing in the mirror.

        I don’t know if that’s good advice but that’s what drives me. I have to hit a point that I hate.

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        1. Interesting. In my case, the mirror would be the life I know I am resigning myself to for my future if I don’t try my best now. I want to be an entrepreneur but, without the effort, I will have to stick to a job that I do not want. I must remind myself how uninspired and stuck that makes me feel. It would be tragic to lose the potential of doing what I really want just because I procrastinated too much.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I need to read this book! I’ve watched a few videos and speeches by Jocko Willink and I really loved them. Because of him, I started getting up at 6:30 and going to bed early. Increasing discipline in my own life has helped me be so much more productive. I love reading your thoughts on this book!

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    1. I still need to read the rest of it. But as far as I got, the idea really spoke to me. I have seen people living life haphazardly and for the short run in the name of freedom and it is a mess. discipline really enables us to enjoy more and actually be free. The freedom that comes with taking better control of my own life.

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    2. I think you made all points clear about discipline being the best path to freedom.
      However, I’d like to commend you particularly on the point about fear of failure. Usually people would say, “Do not be afraid.” And that’s insincere. I love it that someone understands and accepts the fact that fear does exist; fear of failing, fear of what people would think or say, fear of giving up along the way. You said, “I want you to be afraid of failure,… But more important, I want you to be horrified, terrified, of sitting on the sidelines doing nothing.” That is what we should fear most, I support. It is scarily to vision yourself giving you all and not getting the least expected in return, or to envision people might not like what you’d be doing, but it should be even more scarily that you end up existing for eighty years or twenty, without even trying to live.
      I say, you don’t have to be accepted by everyone, you don’t even have to succeed at first try no matter how much effort you must have put, but you’ve got to get up and try again. And this comes to the part where you listen to TMP and not dwell on regrets, take on the lessons from the past and try again, this time better than before, try again and again until you get then.

      I guess that’s discipline. And when you achieve your life dreams, you’re free. You’re fulfilled.

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      1. Exactly! I am choosing the fear and hustle as a lifestyle to start my own business. It is scary and risky but I want it badly enough to accept all that and I keep reminding myself that. Nonetheless, sometimes I do panic.
        Discipline removes the stress of getting many things done that just become habit and efficient. And it plays a big role in paving the road towards fulfillment and whatever I want next in my life.

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  3. […] Discipline Equals Freedom: This is a really impactful book. Follow the link to read some interesting excerpts and my thoughts. Discipline is truly empowering for helping us to build the life we really want and getting away from the couch and Netflix. 25 minutes is a great technique to instil that discipline and create better habits. And indeed, I do feel more free after being productive. I am free of all the tasks that were weighing me down when incomplete and I feel that my dreams and goals are closer within my reach. […]

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